looks like everything is going to be a month early this year

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Three species I saw today that usually don’t emerge until well into april!

Also, 25 salamanders migrated to the pond last night. Did it even rain? Most of them were huge females stocked with eggs.

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2 Responses to looks like everything is going to be a month early this year

  1. deano3 says:

    So are the sallies making up for their small numbers last year … is there any evidence in your data that indicates the specie responds to a low migration / reproduction year with a correction?

  2. scelop says:

    That’s such a great question, and you would think that maybe that could happen, but it is so complicated. Sometimes low numbers of breeders means that conditions were such that individual animals ‘skip’ breeding (they don’t do this lightly). When that happens, some studies suggest that those same individuals are more likely to breed the following year. So, if you get a bunch of animals skipping, and if it is true that many animals don’t necessarily breed every single year (it may be too demanding to breed every year), you could get pulses of high and low breeding numbers. Demonstrating that this is what drives variability, however, is really difficult. Take a look at the plot I just posted (on the salamander blog main page) which shows our annual tally of breeding salamanders since we started the study. We went through a period of increasing numbers, and have been for the past 6 years in a trend of decreasing numbers.

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